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LGU composting facilities to boost organic agriculture

By Loraine D. Cerillo/Jan Dacumos - DA-BSWM/DA
December 07, 2015

At least 42 eligible local government units (LGUs) from the country’s three island regions will soon acquire composting facilities that will further boost the practice of organic agriculture in the Philippines.

In a recent national orientation on the establishment of composting facilities in LGUs, Silvino Tejada, director of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM), said that under the DA’s National Organic Agriculture Program, the agency encourages the establishment of these facilities to increase crop production through the use of organic fertilizers and other farm inputs.

The DA implements the National Organic Agriculture Program in support of the National Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (10068), which was authored by DA Secretary Proceso Alcala.

According to the DA-BSWM, the Philippines has become one of the top performing countries in organic agriculture since the country enacted the National Organic Agriculture Act in 2010. In said year, only 14,150 hectares of land was devoted to organic agriculture. As of 2014, this production area has increased to more than 83,000 hectares.

The Philippines now also has at least 40 locally certified farms and almost 50,000 practitioners and adopters of the program, enabling the country to reach last year's production of 417,879 metric tons, or more than 90% increase from 2010 production.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food said that project will help farmers increase their income as fertilizers used on their farms can now be sourced within their community at lesser cost.

The DA-BSWM added that with the project, the dependence of farmers on chemical fertilizers and other farm inputs will be reduced. It will also assist rural and urban communities in promoting environmental protection while producing safe food.

The project is implemented through the collaboration of the DA, the DA-BSWM and the Villar SIPAG Foundation. A series of training on the operation of the composting facilities will be conducted in collaboration with the DA-Agricultural Training Institute after the signing of the memoranda of agreement among the DA-BSWM, DA regional offices and LGUs. The partner LGUs have to meet a set of criteria for pre-establishment before the composting facilities will be awarded to them.

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